Recreation remains focus in Powdersville

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By Stan Welch

The explosive growth of the Powdersville area continues to be reflected in the insatiable demand for recreational opportunities ad facilities in the area.

In recent weeks, District Six County Councilman Ken Waters has been actively involved in determining what some of those needs are, as well as in securing funding for them. Waters has recently received the results and recommendations from a report put together by Alta Planning and design, a company engaged to conduct a two day charette, or combination public forum/planning exercise.

The charette was focused on determining what the public wants in terms of recreation. Blake Sanders, who works for Alta, told The Journal that three basic scenarios had been developed from the information received, and that those scenarios would be focused and honed down to a single basic plan.

Indicative of the growth of both the area in general and the recreational community specifically is the formation of a new entity, the Powdersville League of Athletic Youth, or PLAY. This group, the newest to appear in the area, is establishing additional recreational baseball leagues at this time.

Efforts to reach the League’s director Tom Ross were unsuccessful prior to press time, but other sources of information indicate that PLAY has already registered more than a hundred kids for spring baseball, and plan to use the improved Dolly Cooper Park facilities for practice.

Sanders said that phase one of the proposed plan included making the existing field playable, as well as creating full access to the field, as defined by the American Disabilities Act. Phase Two will likely include, though perhaps not be limited to, additional fields, walking tracks, and tennis courts. Soccer facilities are also planned for the future.

The Park already contains an ADA accessible kayak and canoe launch and recovery point. The current land improvements reflect a significant expansion of the Park’s use, with most of the effort to develop the facility having been focused on the accessibility to the Saluda River up until now.

Councilman Waters, who in recent weeks, has appropriated $7000 for PLAY, $5000 for the TriCounty Soccer group, and $6200 for the Wren Youth League, says he thinks that the area’s growth will not only facilitate cooperation between the various recreation providers, but will necessitate it. “These folks all want to see safe, healthy recreational opportunities for their kids. I think we can all work together, while maintaining our individual interests, to achieve that common goal.”

In other news concerning the area’s growth, developer Alfred Robinson has filed preliminary planning documents for a 24,500 square foot retail site to be known as The Shops at Center Pointe, adjacent to the WalMart site on Highway 153.The site is designed for multiple retailers.

Sources with the GPAT planning group report that proposed changes and improvements to the Highway 153 corridor have moved up the ladder, so to speak, and advanced on the timetable for actual implementation.